The most important abortion case you never heard about

Everyone considers Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a woman's right to an abortion, to be the most important ruling ever on the issue by the Supreme Court. But this year, a lesser-known progeny of Roe occupies center stage in potentially the most momentous abortion case confronting the justices in a generation. After Roe established abortion rights, Planned Parenthood v. Casey reined them in, creating a new legal standard that gave states greater leeway to regulate the procedure. Many conservative legislatures took advantage to enact a series of increasingly tough laws that reproductive rights advocates argue have made it more difficult -- and sometimes impossible -- for women to obtain abortions.

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'People just don't want that kind of zealotry: North Dakota rejects radical anti-abortion initiative

A month ago, North Dakota's Measure 1 looked like a winner. The proposal sought to enshrine "the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development" in the state constitution. It was up 17 points in the polls.

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Faith vs. civil rights? Sex, gender, and the familiar fight over religious exemptions

As conservatives grapple with the reality of gay marriage and the Supreme Court weighs whether companies should be forced to offer birth control to employees, it's very clear: The conflict between religious freedom and gender/sexual equality has become "the most important civil rights issue of this time."

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As red states push for more restrictions, California expands access to abortions

When you read about abortion these days, the news is mostly about restrictions—new state laws, regulations, and court challenges that aim (depending on your point of view) either to make the procedure safer for women or to put providers out of business. But California is going in the opposite direction, with two bills that could lead to the one of the biggest expansions of access to abortion in the United States since the FDA approved mifepristone, aka the abortion pill, in 2000.

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